Sundance Film Review: You Hurt My Feelings

Sundance Film Review: You Hurt My Feelings

Your Hurt My Feelings closed this year’s Sundance London Film Festival. Earlier in the afternoon writer and director, Nicole Holofcener said the title was a bit of a joke at first and then she was convinced by others to keep it. I think it fits the film perfectly, deceptively simple but with hidden depths.

Remember when you had films that had great dialogue?  Those that you couldn’t wait to discuss as you left the cinema?  You Hurt My Feelings is just that, a great conversation starter. It centers on Don (played by Tobias Menzies resplendent doing a New York accent) who doesn’t like his wife’s (the always excellent Julia Louis Dreyfus)  latest book so lies to her “to be encouraging”, she only realises this after she sneaks up on him and her brother in law discussing how awkward the whole thing makes him feel.

How can something so simple generate enough drama to sustain 2 hours? Well, Nicole Holofcener manages it. This is an intimate movie akin to the classics by Nora Ephron eg When Harry Met Sally. She starts it with a question, is it ever ok to lie to be encouraging and the different ways this can happen; between a couple, parent and child etc. Mercifully, she doesn’t fall into the trap of attempting to give any answers and this simple act ensures the film doesn’t fall into melodrama.

As ever, I felt the last 10 mins could have been cut. I’d be a ruthless film editor. It just threw the pacing of the film off, until then it was quite simply excellent. The ensemble cast was excellent. There’s good chemistry between the two leads and I was pleased to see an older woman with a younger man, long may that continue on screen. Nicole’s script manages to have a central beating heart and yet effortlessly comment on social issues without it feeling preachy eg the scenes dealing with the two sisters handing clothes out to the homeless.

You Hurt My Feelings will be released in UK cinemas on 25 July and then it will stream on Prime Video from August 8.

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